I know that we are blessed. I have never felt the pains of starvation or thirst. Even that month when we were newlyweds and the checkbook read just $27 at the end of the month, we had our own home, reliable vehicles, a closet full of clothes, and a fridge full of food. It was a good experience to learn how to survive on one paycheck, paying a mortgage and car payment, all while I was finishing college.
Traveling to Guatemala opened my eyes to true poverty. I was able to meet families who truly live by faith. During my days at home, my mind often wanders to the families I met. I think about how much effort they spend just to exist and then I look around. My house is full of stuff. We don't need anything. The Christmas season actually makes me uncomfortable. I dread the on slot of things that come. We long for a balance between the gift giving expression of love and controlling our material possessions. I won't deny that I want things and enjoy receiving gifts just like everyone else. Enjoying life must balance with our responsible to those who are less fortunate.
Isaiah 1:17 "Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow."
That very issue sent me into a cleaning spree. Much to the dismay of those who live in our home, nothing was off limits. I started with the girls' bedroom. The closet was updated--small clothes out and bigger clothes in. Toys they didn't love--out. Just in time for the clothing drive at school, they each took a bag of clothes every day. Even after packing a tote of clothes for a friend, we still had two garbage bags of clothes for the rescue mission.
Onward to the kitchen. By just cleaning out what I don't use, I amassed a stack that included a waffle iron, several travel mugs, garlic press, pastry blender, checkerboard cake pans, and a whole collection of other items that filled a large tote.
I'm not quite finished the whole house but the stacks are getting larger. If we aren't using it or don't love it, it's out of here. So many items on to the rescue mission to find a new home and help further their outreach. Cleaning out our house makes room for what God has planned for us and all the blessings that we are given.
Matthew 6:19-21 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."